How to Keep Piranhas in Your Aquarium

Learn about piranhas and how to keep them in your aquarium

So you are considering keeping piranhas in your aquarium.  There are some important things you should know about this magnificent little creature.  This article should help you determine if piranhas are right pet for you and will tell you what is involved in setting up a piranha aquarium.

Piranhas are an omnivorous freshwater fish, from South American rivers, that are known for their sharp teeth and voracious appetite for meat.  In the wild, they travel in schools and can be very aggressive, especially when they are starving.

Piranhas are typically about 6-10 inches long but can grow larger in the wild.  There are a few different types of piranhas but the most common type for the aquarium is the red-bellied piranha.


Piranhas can be kept in a 25 gallon or larger tank but a 50 gallon or larger tank is recommended.  Piranha, believe it or not, are shy fish so they need plenty of hiding spaces.  Piranhas like warm water so a water heater should be used to keep the water temperature between 76 and 83 degrees. Since piranhas are messy eaters, it is important to have a good filtration system.  Also, be sure to keep up with your regular water changes. I recommend 10%-15% each week. Piranhas are very territorial so it is best not to put them with other species as there is good chance they will probably destroy anything that is put in the tank with them.  I recommend only putting them with other piranhas.


Probably the most enjoyable part of owning piranhas is watching them eat.  You can feed them a wide variety of processed, frozen, and freeze dried foods. Common foods used in the aquarium include shrimp or small fish.  Non-fatty meat or poultry can also be used.  Although it is fun to watch them eat live goldfish, try not to do this too often because eating goldfish can make quite a mess and easily pollute your tank.  Feeding your piranha once a day is sufficient.


Piranhas are beautiful fish that should be treated with respect. Never forget that they are very aggressive fish with very sharp teeth. Be sure to provide them with warm water, plenty of hiding spaces, a variety of foods, and clean water and they will provide you with years of enjoyment.


Be careful if putting your hands in the tank, especially if the piranha(s) have not been feed in a long time.


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Kathleen Murphy
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Posted on Mar 1, 2010
Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay) Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay)
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Posted on Feb 27, 2010